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Frat cuts ties with Baruch chapter following "hazing death"

NEW YORK - The Pi Delta Psi fraternity has severed ties with the Baruch Colony following the death of Baruch College student Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, who allegedly died of blunt force trauma sustained during a fraternity ritual.

A statement from Andy Meng, the executive president of the fraternity, says the Baruch Colony “violated the values and rules of our organization, including our strict no hazing policy.”

The statement goes on to say the fraternity plans to “revoke the individual memberships of any member found involved in this incident.”

Deng, a 19-year-old freshman and pledge at Pi Delta Psi, died Dec. 9 while at a weekend retreat at a rented house in the Poconos with about three dozen fraternity members.

According to a police affidavit, Deng, one of four pledges, suffered major brain trauma Dec. 8 during an initiation ritual called the ”glass ceiling,” reports CBS New York.

Police said Deng was blindfolded and wearing a backpack loaded with 20 pounds of sand when he was forced to run a gauntlet while fraternity brothers physically tried to keep him from passing through by repeatedly shoving him to the ground.

Deng was left “unconscious and unresponsive immediately after he fell” with “scratches and bruising on his knees,” according to the affidavit, reports the station. Investigators reportedly said Deng also had swelling to the back of his head.

Instead of calling 911, police said the frat brothers carried Deng inside and placed him by the fire, searched the Internet for his symptoms and changed his clothes, CBS New York reported.

Then, after waiting at least an hour and a half, three of the brothers drove him to a hospital 30 miles away, authorities said. There, Deng’s mother arrived to find her son brain-dead and on life support. He died hours later, according to the station.

Police said one of the brothers made a phone call from the hospital directing others back at the house to get rid of all fraternity items and another admitted to being the “pledge educator” in charge of Deng during the ritual, according to the station.

Toxicology and alcohol tests for Deng reportedly came back negative. It’s unclear whether any other members of the fraternity were tested for drugs or alcohol at the time.

Baruch College administrators said the school had no knowledge of the weekend retreat or even that Pi Delta Psi was rushing a pledge class.

Nationally, Pi Delta Psi has had hazing problems in recent years, CBS New York reported. Last year, the University of Florida chapter was suspended because of hazing and in spring 2009, the Cornell University chapter was put on provisional status after video tape surfaced of a pledge being hazed.

Following Deng’s death, the fraternity was suspended from Baruch College.

Authorities said they are still investigating Deng’s death and are prepared to file charges against anyone who was involved.

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